We met Karen Danudjaja earlier this year, in 2019. She’s passionate, she’s articulate–and she’s not afraid to reach out and spark friendships with members of the community for no reason other than good ol’ genuine connection, and inspiration. From one entrepreneur to another, she shared her vision for her company, Blume: to create easy, versatile ways for people to be healthy. Serendipitously working towards the same vision ourselves at Tubify, it was pretty much a perfect match. After a series of coffee-work dates, we decided: we simply must share her story with you.
Q: Tell us about the beginning of Blume!
Ella [my business partner] and I met on a camping trip, about two years ago.
We were going through breakups at the time, which can be a really interesting time for self reflection. I think what we found out was that we weren’t really passionate about the work we were doing and we weren’t living as intentionally as we wanted to be.
We started weekly meetups where we would talk about what we wanted to do and projects we wanted to work on. My Dad is Indonesian, so I kind of grew up with turmeric elixirs, and that was something I had kind of been thinking about. So I brought it up at one of our weekly meetings and we talked about it and we talked about how at different times in our lives we’ve experienced anxiety, and the fact that some people are sensitive to caffeine. We had been in roles where we had a lot of coffee meetings and found that there was a real lack of healthy [beverage] alternatives. For example, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, it’s not necessarily what you want to have at your three o’clock meeting. So this idea for healthy, caffeine-free alternatives kind of emerged. We went to a shop to basically do market research, asked, ‘hey have you ever heard of a tumeric latte and would you consider it?’ It was only supposed to be an information meeting, but I left the shop with an order. That’s how it started.
Q: What were you and your business partner doing for work before Blume?
I worked in commercial real estate, in project/property management, Ella was a copywriter, so when I met her, she was working for a creative agency.
Q: Do you have any takeaways in regards to being a woman in the industry you’re in?
I think that when [Ella and I] got into business we thought that it was going to be ultra competitive, or cut throat. However, we’ve created an amazing community of female entrepreneurs who are very much about supporting, uplifting and encouraging each other. I think the imposter syndrome, doubting yourself and not believing that you can do something is really prominent among women and in entrepreneurship in general. I think it’s something that you combat with action. Just starting was the best thing that we could do, and we’ve pivoted and adapted a hundred times since then. You can’t start that process of iterating until you get over the fear of starting.
Q: Advice for other young women on starting their own businesses?
I think to get out there and start talking to people. I’m in this process too where I talk to other entrepreneurs about the challenges they face, learn about what they’ve done to overcome them. Sometimes people are too busy and they don’t want to sit down, but 90% of the time they’re willing to have a chat. You can learn so much from one coffee meeting, and find incredible inspiration. So, I think that if you have an idea that you’re passionate about, start asking the questions that need to be asked to get started.
Tubify is a community-centric brand. Our relationship with this community is how we truly measure our company’s value, and growth. So. we thought –why not interview some of the people who inspire our community impact? And so was born this series, #HumansofYVR.